COBWEB CORNERS: A summer outing

By Mel McFarland

       Summer is coming. Those of you who are new to the area might wonder some days - even in May - if this is true. There are still days when it snows a foot or more on Pikes Peak overnight. Down here, the rain sure helps bring up the green in the lawns and trees. This has been one of those nice winters.
       Even now, you will see people out working in the yard, but how about a day off? For some of you that is Sunday. Traditionally, a hundred years ago, the churches of Colorado City were quite full on Sunday. Driving through Old Colorado City you can spot many of the neighborhood churches. There were several others, which are now long gone. Then there is the Old Colorado City History Center, which was one of two or more neighborhood Baptist churches.
       Once church was out, many would retire to their homes for a nice dinner meal. Summer outings that were quite popular were trips to Manitou or the Garden of the Gods. A hundred years ago, the easiest way to travel was on the street car. Extra cars were put on in the summer between downtown and Manitou.
       My grandparents courted on the trips to Manitou. My great-grandfathers both came to Colorado because of tuberculosis. It was believed the clean dry air was good for their treatment, but there was something else. It was believed that the mineral waters in Manitou held special benefits. My grandparents regularly found themselves waiting for a street car on Colorado Avenue holding a big empty jug. They would travel west to Manitou, where they would fill the jugs with their favorite spring water. There are several springs that have been restored along Manitou Avenue. Each has a slightly different flavor, ranging from mild sulfur to strong iron.
       Once they had taken in some of the attractions in Manitou, or even a band concert in Soda Springs Park, they would take their bottles of liquid treasure home, converting them to tasty lemonade. Each great-grandfather apparently preferred different springs, and look out if somehow they were switched. I'm told the trip was made about once a month. As a kid, I was made to suffer through some of the lemonade, but I do admit, now and then I collect a bottle of my favorite, and make REAL lemonade!